By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — A slow start from the Anderson University women’s basketball team left it in a hole that was too big to recover from as it dropped an 83-54 decision to Manchester University on Wednesday.
Shelby Shaffer got the Ravens on the board with 11:05 left in the first half, but by that time Anderson found itself in an 18-1 hole. That lead grew to 21-1 before the home team could get any sort of scoring punch.
Ravens head coach Marcie Taylor said her team tends to lose confidence, which leads to girls not playing hard on both ends of the court.
“It’s an interesting group in terms of self confidence,” she said. “I think it’s a group that doesn’t always exhibit a lot of self confidence when something doesn’t go well. I mean you’ve got to be able to play hard through the good and the bad. I wouldn’t say its from laziness or anything like that that they let down. It’s a frustrating thing.”
Taylor said her girls didn’t always play hard, and that was the most frustrating thing to the coaching staff.
“One of the things that we’ve always tried to hang our hat on is no matter what we’re always going to play hard,” said the coach. “I feel like there were some times tonight we didn’t have everybody playing hard. We had players playing hard, but the whole group of five that was out there wasn’t playing hard. And that’s really disappointing because you’re giving up on your teammates, and you’re really hurting your team.”
One of the girls that did play hard the whole game was freshman point guard Shaffer who finished with a game-high 16 points.
“Shelby is a great find for us,” said Taylor. “We know she’s going to give a lot over the next three years. As a freshman, she’s trying to exhibit some leadership. That can be a challenge when you have upperclassmen. But she’s really working hard.”
Taylor also credited Cori Connor for giving her best effort with 10 points and 10 boards on the night.
“With Cori, it’s about needing to get in better shape, and that’s the reality of it with her in terms of being able to play hard the whole time she’s out there," Taylor said. "She works hard, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying she’s not working hard.”
Taylor said she is trying to toughen up her team, and she feels like that is the next hump this team needs to hurdle to be more competitive in games. Mallory King showed some of that by coming off of appendix surgery about a week ago to score 10 points in 33 minutes of play.
The Ravens dropped to 1-13 on the season and are still searching for their first win in conference play after dropping to 0-7.